Work to be one in a hundred

You don’t need to be one in a million to succeed, but you should aim for one in a hundred.

One hundred is an interesting number. In ancient Rome, a Centurion commanded one hundred men (usually between 60 and 150). Even today, an army company will comprise about 100-150 soldiers. Reaching 100 employees is a landmark, and a step-change, for a growing business.

The anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed, in 1992, that the human brain can maintain a maximum of around 150 social relationships (Dunbar’s Number).  In more recent research, he has found that the average number of Facebook Friends is 155. You can have more links, of course. Clicking is easy, but maintaining real social relationships is hard.

Take that across to a typical professional scenario. Your business relies on the relationship (not transactional) model: clients need to know and trust you. When your client faces a problem, they can choose from just 100-150 trusted relationships to solve it.

You want to be that one per cent – the one person best suited to save the day.

 

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Financial independence in your 40s

Today’s Times has a piece on the so-called Fire (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement that, having taken off in North American is growing in the UK, too.

Here’s the magic formula:

The basic mathematics of Fire are that you need a net worth of 25 times your annual spending, invested sensibly in the stock market in low-cost tracker funds or in buy-to-let property.

Financial independence, whether you  choose to continue working or not, must represent true sovereignty. It’s therefore a worthy goal for the sovereign professional.
“If you can save 50 per cent of your take-home pay, it will take 19 years to go from broke to never needing to work again. If you can save 75 per cent, it will take seven to eight years.”
The basic requirements are a long-term focus and an ability for deferred gratification.
It reminds me of a great book, Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, which is well-worth a read.
Photo by Sonja Guina on Unsplash

Magic rings, many faces and Joseph Campbell

Steve Layman has a couple of pointers to the work of Joseph Campbell.

Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.

and

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.

More about Campbell, here.

Back to school or off to uni

Nicholas Bate with sound advice for those kicking their heels and waiting for university to start:

1.Decide your timetable. Work time, play time. Be time. Creative time. Writing time. Schedule it. Timetables work.

5. Read more than the reading list. By definition, that’s a minimum. Make it a habit not to do the minimum.

6. Stop playing with your phone when you should be working.

8. Clean  up your fountain pen. And write more long-hand. There’s a stack of benefits in the hand-eye-brain connection, the aesthetics of hand-writing and a break from the key-board.

9. Thank great teachers. It’s nice to be appreciated.

Make it a habit not to do the minimum. Sage advice.

Read the full list, here.

 

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Personal eternal truths from Nicholas Bate

Twenty-two personal and eternal truths? How can you resist?

In particular…

2. Worthwhile stuff is hard.

3. We are wired to be distracted: it has huge evolutionary benefit. But that benefit evolved when distraction was infrequent. Now its frequency is numbing our brain, reducing romance to sex and killing the album.

4. A schedule and ‘no’ will get amazing things achieved.

7. Everybody now runs their own business. Ask: why would anyone want to employ me?

22. Writing (1) by hand (2) for no reason at all (3) regularly is remarkably therapeutic.

Read the full 22, here.

 

Photo by Art Lasovsky on Unsplash

 

Seth on sunk clowns and costs- @thisisseth

Another great post from Seth Godin:

Yes there was supposed to be a clown at your birthday party. No, he didn’t show up. That’s a bummer.

The question is: how long should you mourn the loss of the clown? How much more of your party are you ready to sacrifice?

Read the rest, here, and consider.

 

Photo by Anthony Rao on Unsplash